Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day


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Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.



November 12th, 2014

Episode 16 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 12, 2014 is: hallowed \HAL-ohd\ adjective 1 : holy, consecrated 2 : sacred, revered Examples: "He who enters a university walks on hallowed ground," declared Harvard President James Bryant Conant on the celebration of that institution's 300th anniversary. "People pass Richards Memorial Park every day, many without knowing the amount of rich Talbot County history buried in its hallowed grounds." Josh Bollinger, Sunday Star (Easton, Maryland), October 12, 2014 Did you know? The adjective hallowed probably doesn't give you the shiversor does it? Hallowed is the past participle of the verb hallow, a term that descends from the Middle English halowen. That word can in turn be traced back to hālig, Old English for "holy." During the Middle Ages, All Hallows' Day was the name for what Christians now call All Saints' Day, and the evening that preceded All Hallows' Day was All Hallow Evenor, as we know it today, Halloween.